"Of all our faults, the one we avow most easily is idleness; we persuade ourselves that it is allied to all the peaceable virtues, and as for the others, that it does not destroy them utterly, but only suspends the exercise of their functions."
"Vices enter into the composition of virtues as poisons into the composition of certain medicines. Prudence and common sense mix them together, and make excellent use of them against the misfortunes that attend human life."
"I cannot love anyone if I hate myself. That is the reason why we feel so extremely uncomfortable in the presence of people who are noted for their special virtuousness, for they radiate an atmosphere of the torture they inflict on themselves. That is not a virtue but a vice."
"What we take for virtue is often but an assemblage of various ambitions and activities that chance, or our own astuteness, have arranged in a certain manner; and it is not always out of courage or purity that men are brave, and women chaste."
"Virtue is the adherence in action to the nature of things, and the nature of things makes it prevalent. It consists in a perpetual substitution of being for seeming, and with sublime propriety God is described as saying, I A--."
"The sentiment of virtue is a reverence and delight in the presence of certain divine laws. It perceives that this homely game of life we play, covers, under what seem foolish details, principles that astonish."